Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time ~ September 20, 2020

First Reading:
As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts. (Is. 55:9)

The Lord is near to all who call upon him. (Ps. 145)

Second Reading:
Brothers and sisters: Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. (Phil. 1:20c)

“‘Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?’ Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.” (Mt. 20:14-16a)

Excerpts are from the Lectionary for Mass ©2001, 1998, 1970 CCD. The English translation of Psalm Responses from Lectionary for Mass © 1969, 1981, 1997, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.

Live the Liturgy—Inspiration for the Week:
Think for a moment about the most special person in your life. Why do you love them? Many people will answer that question noting character traits they admire about the person, pointing to an indescribable compatibility that exists and describing a deep sense of connection and intimacy or even a sense of rightness about the relationship. In relationships that are authentic and true, rarely are the personal benefits gained from the relationship noted as motivating factors for its pursuit. If we truly love someone we do so simply because it is right and good to do so and not for some other self-serving reason. Why do you love God? The sense of happiness and the gift of mercy that come from that relationship are God’s to give, regardless of when in life we come to Him. God’s ways are different than ours.

Catholic Quotes—Words to Inspire the Faithful:






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  • Food Pantries:
    • Ovid Federated church: Mondays, 10:00 a.m. Food truck is every other Tuesday (September 29), 4:00–6:00 p.m., in the parking lot at South Seneca high school
    • Interlaken Reformed church: 3:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m., Fridays
    • Trumansburg Food Pantry: Methodist church 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. and 5:15–6:00 p.m., every other Monday (September 28)
  • Fr. Bernard is Available: 6:30 p.m., Fridays, St. Francis Solanus
  • Parish Churches: Opened daily for private visiting and prayer
  • Second Collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development: This weekend, September 19 and 20
  • Family Faith Formation: Begins September 20
  • Police Reform and Reinvention Forums: 6:00 p.m.,
    • September 21, Ovid Fire Department
    • September 23, Seneca Falls Community Center
    • September 24, Waterloo Fire Department
  • St. Bernard’s Cultural and Theology Series: 7:30 p.m.; September 22, October 6, November 2; Online

Break the Cycle of Poverty:
The special collection today supports the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. There are 40 million people in the United States living in poverty. This collection supports programs that empower low income people to address the root causes of their own poverty. Grants support organizations across the country, including four in our own Diocese. In addition, 25% of the funds we collect will remain in our diocese to fund smaller, local antipoverty projects. By supporting this collection, you are giving those on the margins a hand up, not a handout. Make your check out to your parish and write “CCHD” in the memo or check out your parish’s online giving options for designating your gift to CCHD. Please be generous.

Seneca County Criminal Justice:
The Seneca County Criminal Justice Advisory Board is sponsoring community forums on Police Reform and Reinvention. The community forum will discuss local police reform regarding topics that include: community policing, use of force, procedural justice, de-escalation, and implicit bias awareness. Law enforcement agencies are enthusiastically entering into a ground-breaking collaboration with the community to make real change happen. The three forums, all starting at 6 p.m., will be held this week on September 21 at the Ovid Fire Department, September 23 at the Seneca Falls Community Center, and September 24 at the Waterloo Fire Department.

“Desert Days” at Notre Dame Retreat House:
“Desert Days” are special days for individuals seeking a one day retreat alone with God. Allow yourself time to recover emotional balance, interior unity, inner balance, and peace of soul. There are four dates left with openings. Note that in order to address social distancing requirements we are limiting attendance on each “Desert Day” to fifteen people. Registration is almost full! For specifics on dates, retreat format, cost and how to register, please visit: Please contact 585–394–5700 or with any inquiries.

Theology and Culture at St. Bernard’s:
St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry is offering a monthly Theology and Culture series. This is the school’s first virtual Theology and Culture event featuring a new three-part series on what it means to be a faithful citizen. The presenter will be Dr. Taylor P. O’Neill. The dates for the course are: September 22, October 6, and November 2. For more information and registration please phone Matt Brown, Director of Admissions, at 585–271–3657 ext. 2 or email,

Family Faith Formation at Mary, Mother of Mercy:
The Family Faith Formation program begins this Sunday, September 20. If your family has children in grades K–7 and would still like to register, the registration form can be found on the website or contact Susan Guydosh at

Stress in Your Marriage?
Retrouvaille (pronounced Retro-vi, meaning rediscovery) is a program for married couples who feel disillusioned, hurt, frustrated, or angry in their marriage. Sometimes life-changing events occur (pandemic, loss of a job, death of a loved one) and most don’t know how to communicate with their spouses about it. This world-wide Catholic program has helped tens of thousands of couples experiencing difficulties in their marriage. For confidential information about the next program beginning with a weekend away in Buffalo on October 2, please call 585–293–1552 or visit the web site at All CDC guidelines will be followed for your safety. Space is limited.

Your Home–A Domestic Church:
Beginning the first week in September The Family Zone newsletter will be adapted to be used by parishes as a lectionary-based learning playlist. A learning playlist is a format used widely today in formation and education. It allows the learner to choose from a variety of tasks that will engage their understanding of a topic. The Family Zone will offer a listing of activities and opportunities for further learning on the faith themes that best connect to each Sunday’s readings. This newsletter can easily be shared with families to encourage the promotion of parents as primary catechist. It is not suggested that this be the only method of catechesis, however, it will provide a strong foundation for your planning this year. The newsletter is linked from our parish’s web page and Facebook page. It may also be found by searching the web for “The Family Zone Newsletter.” People have found the newsletter to be of great interest, stimulating, and inspirational.

In the 2018 pastoral statement, Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love, the Catholic Bishops of the United States teach that, “The injustice and harm racism causes are an attack on human life. The Church in the United States has spoken out consistently and forcefully against abortion, assisted suicide, euthanasia, the death penalty, and other forms of violence that threaten human life. It is not a secret that these attacks on human life have severely affected people of color, who are disproportionately affected by poverty, targeted for abortion, have less access to healthcare, have the greatest number on death row, are most likely to feel pressure to end their lives when facing serious illness. As bishops, we unequivocally state that racism is a life issue. Accordingly, we will not cease to speak forcefully against and work toward ending racism. Racism directly places brother and sister against each other, violating the dignity inherent in each person.” (Open Wide Our Hearts: the Enduring Call to Love, page 30).

The Bishop’s Reminder:
Due to the prevalence of the Coronavirus, the obligation to attend Sunday Mass is suspended until further notice. Those who are at a higher risk of COVID-19 and those concerned for their health are urged not to come to church for Mass. Those who feel in any way sick should not enter any parish building or church.

The Reception of Holy Communion Guidelines:
The guidelines can be found in the hymnal on page 231. Please note that our Catholic Church has a discipline, namely, that Catholics cannot receive Communion in non-Catholic Churches and Non-Catholics cannot receive Communion in Catholic Churches. A summarized rationale is that there is no uniformity among the churches regarding the understanding of the Eucharist and that even though we may be one in our belief in Jesus, in reality we are divided as believers in Jesus. The Catholic Church’s discipline highlights the reminder and the need to continually work for oneness among Christians that is, that we all may be one in faith, life, and worship. Please communicate to Catholics and to non-Catholics requesting that they respect and follow the Catholic discipline.

Need for Election Inspectors:
New York State Senator Pamela Helming (54th Senate District – R) writes: “With elections approaching in November, there is an urgent need for Election Inspectors. Inspectors help make our elections run safely and smoothly. It is important that our polling locations are properly staffed. This is an important opportunity to give back and get involved in the civic process. Election inspectors receive a stipend for working on election day and for taking the required training classes.” Visit the Board of Election websites or call to learn more. See links here for Seneca County or call 315–539–1760, and for Tompkins County or call 607–274–5522.

Fill Out your 2020 US Census:
The every-10-year-census count is extremely important. It determines how many state and federal representatives our region will get and informs the distribution of billions of dollars of federal and state funding. You can answer the quick census questionnaire at or by phoning 844–330– 2020 or by filing out the questionnaire you received in the mail. And tell others, “Fill out your 2020 US Census.”

Prayer Intentions:
Since we presently cannot have the prayer request books in our churches, do know that the prayer requests of fellow parishioners are still being listed on the parish website (see PRAYERS in top bar). If you would like to add a request, please email the parish at or phone the parish office at 607–294–0064 and it will be added to the list.

Prayers from the Sisters of St. Joseph:
The Sisters of St. Joseph have a prayer ministry for the Diocese of Rochester. They have informed our parish that Sr. Anne Marie Burns will be praying for the parish of Mary, Mother of Mercy, during 2020. In gratitude, let us pray for Sr. Anne Burns and all the Sisters of St. Joseph.

Pregnancy Care Center of the Finger Lakes:
The Pregnancy Care Center of the Finger Lakes is located at 551 Exchange St. in Geneva. “If you regret your abortion, you are not alone. Let us help you learn to forgive yourself.” For more information phone 315 789 0708.

Cancer Services Program (CSP):
Cortland and Tompkins Counties offer free cancer screenings to those who are uninsured or have health insurance that does not cover these screenings. The screening services are provided in local health centers, doctors’ offices, and hospitals. For more information, contact CSP at 866 442 2262.

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© 2021 The Parish of Mary Mother of Mercy
3660 Orchard St., P.O. Box 403, Interlaken, NY 14847

St. James the Apostle, 17 Whig St, Trumansburg, NY
Holy Cross, 7231 Main Street, Ovid, N.Y.
St. Francis Solanus, 3660 Orchard St., Interlaken, N.Y.
Diocese of Rochester

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